Preferencing Trainee Pharmacist Programmes

What is preferencing?

Preferencing is the process by which you choose and rank the programmes that you are interested in applying for through the Oriel system.

There will be approximately 3000 programmes being recruited to, so it is extremely important that you give yourself enough time to review and think about what type of programme you are interested in undertaking and where it is.

In previous years there have been a number of applicants who were not offered places because they did not preference enough programmes or only those that were extremely popular. There were also applicants that preferenced places they were not 100% happy to undertake. To avoid these preferencing issues, we recommend thinking carefully about the programme content before preferencing; are you happy with the hours? Is the commute reasonable/economical? These are just a couple of the factors you should be considering.

IMPORTANT: You will be able to actively preference programmes during the preferencing window (26 July 2023 - 31 October 2023).

You may also wish to undertake some research such as visiting employer websites or attending open days. Links to the websites for all employers offering training programmes as part of the recruitment process will be available as part of the programme information within Oriel. We have also listed all the programmes and employers in the Pharmacy Employers and Programme Information 2023 for 2024-25 intake which can be accessed below.

IMPORTANT: The more time you spend researching and thinking about where you would like to undertake your pre-registration training the smarter your preferencing choices will be.

Analysis from previous years showed that Hospital and multi-sector/split placements places were very competitive, which was reflected in the high fill rate. You should therefore preference as widely as possible to maximise your chance of securing a place through the scheme, but always ensure that any place you preference is somewhere that you would definitely wish to train in.

For further information about preferencing and fill rates from previous recruitments, please refer to the National Foundation Training recruitment website.

More information about how to preference is in the applicant handbook under section 4, plus watch the easy to follow 'How to Preference' video available below.

Preferencing Video Guide

Programme Information

Every programme being recruited to through the recruitment process will be listed in the preferencing section of the application. Programmes will be displayed as preference codes and will be presented in the following way:


Please note: If a programme is able to sponsor a Skilled Worker Visa holder, they will have a SWV within their programme preference code for example:


IMPORTANT: If you are not subject to any visa restrictions, (this also now includes applicants that are applying via the Graduate Visa Route), you will be able to preference all of the listed programmes, including the programmes that are marked as SWV.

Disclaimer: Programme information is correct at time of publication but is subject to change until verified by the employing organisations.

Preference Categories

The preference section of the application form presents you with three categories which you are able to move your preferences between; preference, no preference and not wanted.

When you first look at the preferencing section of your application all of the programmes listed will sit within the No Preference category.

No Preference: All of the programmes will initially sit in this category. This will mean that you are willing to accept any of these programmes should you not be successful in being offered any of your positively preferenced programmes. They will not be offered to you in any set order as they are not ranked in this section. If there are programmes which you are most interested in, you are advised to rank these within the Preference category.

Not Wanted: This is the category you should move all of the programmes you are not willing to accept. You will never be made an offer to any of the programmes you move into this category after you have submitted your preferences.

Preference: This is the category you should move all of the programmes you would actively like to be considered for. You will need to rank all of the programmes you move into this category starting with the number 1. This number indicates the order in which you would like the programme to be considered. If you are unable to rank programmes, leave them in the no preference section.

IMPORTANT: You may have as many programmes in each category as you wish however please note that preferencing a very small number of programmes will limit your chances of being made an offer.

Remember, any programme within your ‘Preference’ or ‘No Preference’ category could be offered to you, so you must be sure that you are willing to work for the employer.